|First one-day international, Pune|
|India 317-5 (50 overs): Dhawan 98 (106); Stokes 3-34|
|England 251 (42.1 overs): Bairstow 94 (66); Krishna 4-54|
|India won by 66 runs|
England squandered the chance to win a fluctuating first one-day international against India, losing by 66 runs in Pune.
Jonny Bairstow’s scintillating 94, from only 66 balls, had the world champions well on course for their target of 318.
India’s pace bowlers roared back, and an England side missing the rested Joe Root lost five wickets for 41 runs before eventually slumping to 251 all out.
The hosts had earlier been lifted to 317-5 by Shikhar Dhawan’s 98 and 58 not out from Krunal Pandya, whose 26-ball half-century was the fastest by a debutant in one-day internationals.
On a bruising day, England captain Eoin Morgan spent time off the field with split webbing on his right hand, while Sam Billings sprained his collarbone joint attempting a stop on the boundary.
Rohit Sharma was struck on the elbow by Mark Wood and, most seriously, new Lancashire signing Shreyas Iyer suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
The second in the three-match series is on the same ground on Friday.
India win clash of styles
The one-day part of this long England tour carries the least significance when compared to the tourists’ defeats in the Test and Twenty20 series, but the two top-ranked sides in the world still served up a compelling contest in an empty stadium.
Whereas England were carried to 2019 World Cup glory by their all-out aggression, India still favour an old-fashioned approach to 50-over cricket.
Their reliance on a late assault could have backfired had it not been for Krunal and KL Rahul, who capitalised as England lost their way when influential skipper Morgan was forced off in the 41st over.
The home side had no answer to Bairstow’s brutality, only for a resurgence from their seamers to once again leave the game in the balance.
England were left relying on a lower order that has played little cricket, and they were gradually suffocated by their hosts.
England waste Bairstow brilliance
Bairstow’s astonishing hitting was reminiscent of England’s bullying batting in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup win and threatened to make light of the chase.
Muscling the ball, primarily on the leg side, he laid waste to an India attack with seven sixes and six fours.
However, when Jason Roy was caught at point for 46 to end an opening stand of 135 after only 14.2 overs, England lost all fluency.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was miserly, while debutant Prasidh Krishna took four wickets and Shardul Thakur three.
Ben Stokes drove to cover, Bairstow holed out on the leg side, Morgan was bounced out and Jos Buttler was trapped on the crease to be lbw.
Moeen Ali, in only his second match of any kind since November, had endured a difficult day, dropping Dhawan and conceding 28 runs in his three overs.
He looked to be rescuing England with the bat, but when he edged Bhuvneshwar behind for 30, the tourists’ hopes went with him.
Emotional Krunal elevates India
On a true pitch, the classy Shikhar was strong square of the wicket, sharing 64 with Rohit and 105 with captain Virat Kohli, who was looking ominous in helping himself to 56.
Left-hander Shikhar also benefitted from two let-offs, the first a tough chance to a diving Roy at point on 16, the second a simple chance to Moeen on the leg-side boundary on 59.
As India were looking to accelerate, the pacey Mark Wood returned to have Kohli flick to deep square leg and Dhawan pulled to mid-wicket as part of Stokes’ 3-34 in his first ODI since the World Cup final.
Morgan had just left the field when Krunal, elder brother of Hardik, joined Rahul to begin a blur of the ball being flayed to all parts.
The swashbuckling left-hander carved over the off side and whipped off his pads, providing the catalyst for 112 runs to come from the last 9.3 overs.
The Pandya brothers’ father passed away in January. Krunal was emotional receiving his cap before play and again when interviewed at the interval, tearfully embracing Hardik.
‘One of our sweetest victories’
England captain Eoin Morgan: “We’ve done a lot of things right today. I thought the bowlers were outstanding, as were our two openers. We failed to continue building. We play an aggressive brand of cricket, we just need to execute better than we did today. This is the way we play and this is the way we’ll continue to play.”
India captain Virat Kohli: “This is one of our sweetest victories in the recent past. The comeback from all our bowlers was an amazing effort. I’m a really proud man, the team showed great character and intensity.”